Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Free Article Join Over 1 Million Premium Members And Get More In-Depth Stock Guidance and Research

Apple Dividend History: Yup, the Tech Giant Is Officially a Dividend Stock

By Daniel Sparks - Aug 29, 2016 at 10:32AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Here's a close look at Apple's dividend history and its dividend today.

Some might wonder: "Does Apple really pay dividends?"

Yes, Apple pays a quarterly dividend. Despite the fact Apple ( AAPL 3.09% ) CEO Steve Jobs famously opposed dividends, Apple has actually turned into a very good dividend stock, paying $2.28 per share each year, increasing its dividend annually, and currently boasting about a 2.1% dividend yield.

Here's a look at Apple's dividend and its history.

Apple stock's dividend




Dividend yield



Payout ratio



3-year average annualized dividend growth



Annual dividends per share



Data for table retrieved from Reuters. Table source: Author.

Today, Apple is a strong dividend stock. While the company's dividend yield of about 2.1% is close to the average dividend yield of companies in the S&P 500, investors should note how low the tech giant's payout ratio is; paying out just 25% of its earnings today, there is significant room for Apple to increase its dividends in the coming years. Another way to look at how easily Apple could increase its dividend is by looking at its annual dividend payments and free cash flow. Of Apple's $50 billion of trailing-12-month free cash flow, it paid out just $12 billion in dividends.

In other words, Apple investors should expect plenty more dividend increases in the years ahead. Indeed, management has promised exactly this.

Apple dividend history

Between 1987 and 1995, Apple paid quarterly dividends, starting at a quarterly dividend of $0.06 in 1987 and ending at $0.12 in 1995. But between 1995 and 2012, Apple did not pay any dividends.

Apple resumed its dividend in 2012 at $2.65 per share on a quarterly basis. Notably, Apple's stock split 2-for-1 two times by the time it reinitiated its dividend.

Today, Apple pays a dividend of $0.57 per share on a quarterly basis. But investors should again note that Apple split its shares 7-for-1 in 2014. Without this share split, Apple's quarterly dividend payment today would be close to $4.

AAPL Dividend Chart

AAPL Dividend data by YCharts

If you're wondering when Apple pays its quarterly dividends, here's the schedule of its last four payouts. Future quarterly dividends should be paid approximately around these same dates of the year.

Apple dividend payout amount

Payment schedule


August 8, 2016


May 9, 2016


February 8, 2016


November 9, 2015

Data for table retrieved from Apple's investor relations page. Table source: Author.

A new era

Apple's long stretch of not paying any dividends reflected Jobs' opposition to them. During Jobs' second tenure at Apple from 1997 to 2012, the tech giant didn't pay a single dividend, even as its cash hoard ballooned to over $50 billion in 2011.

"The cash in the bank gives us tremendous security and flexibility," Jobs said in 2010. 

But by 2012, and after Jobs had passed the reigns to Tim Cook, Apple finally reinitiated its dividend, making it the company's first dividend since 1995. The combination of Jobs' passing in 2011 and a cash hoard exceeding $100 billion in 2012 marked the beginning of a new era for Apple. Overnight, Apple became a formidable dividend stock -- and it looks like it's going to stay this way.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
$170.43 (3.09%) $5.11
Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote
Microsoft Corporation
$335.35 (2.81%) $9.16

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 12/07/2021.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Our Most Popular Articles

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with the Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from the Motley Fool's premium services.